Designed in 2 Minutes?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Usable menus

In most GUIs I've seen menus are not persistent, although in some X-based GUIs such as KDE they can be made to stay on screen once clicked on by selecting a reserved menu option for this task which converts the menu into a fully-flegded window.

This really irritates me sometimes when I want to perform repeated tasks from a menu, such as loading several programs at once or deleting several bookmarks from a list.

Under these GUIs I have to keep re-opening the menu and navigating to the required submenu as every time I perform an action by clicking on it, the menu closes. What a waste of time! It's certainly not an efficient, usable method of working.

Time for another RISC OS reference. RISC OS makes use of a three-button mouse in the GUI. Clicking on a menu item with the left button closes the menu, the same way as in Windows or MacOS etc. But should you want the menu to remain open between operations, in order to tick several options or load several programs, then simply click on the options with the right mouse button.

So long as you click on a menu item with the right mouse button rather than the left, the menu will remain open ready and waiting for you to do the next operation.

Now that's usable!


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